Quite a Spring Break it was. Ana had 2 weeks off, whereas Og had one. So, the week of overlapping vacation was managed somehow, juggling our schedules, taking time off from work and so on.
I try not to rant in this space, but, every once in a while I feel the need to vent. And school closures are one such where parents who work outside home and have no relatives in town, no support group, no daycare/camps nearby (or the means to afford it) are left clambering...
And, it is not just major school breaks - it seems a norm that once a month or so school is closed all day for some reason; and again, once a month or so there is early dismissal (half-day). Lucky are those who have family in town to help out considering the frequency of non-school days happening in these parts.
Naturally, one or the other parent has to make serious adjustments in their work schedule (and be glad that they are able to, and can still keep the job) to accommodate such closures, but I shudder to think how a single parent manages it all...
Thankfully, the extra week that Ana had for Spring Break was a time D could travel and work and so dropped Ana off at Nana's in Canada. Ana had a blast with Nana, it was too short a visit but she is growing into her own person and Nana loved her company. But, Nana has to work as well and she made some adjustments to spend time with her grand-daughter...
So, it was just Oggie and me for a week, with Oggie going to school and me going to work and then hanging out together the rest of the time. He loved the one-on-one attention.
Whereas Ana prefers to do independent work by herself most of the time since her pre-school days, sitting still and focusing for hours at a stretch, Oggie likes company. He likes to have people around him. He likes to work in pairs or more. He loves to talk non-stop. Does not like to sit still.
Oh, he is capable of focusing on a work for long duration with full concentration and he does it when things interest him. But, for the most part, he is an attention-seeker. So, in the interest of sanity (and rounded development), I try to give him more of positive attention than negative when I can. It is not always easy. I am usually multi-tasking and parallel-processing.
Which means, we do have plenty of moments where I am in the kitchen and hear a gleeful voice from the living room inviting, "Mama, look at me! I am jumping on the sofa!" knowing that he is breaking a house safety rule when I have to deliberately take that extra moment to not respond with an immediately exasperated "Get down now!" but rather with a calculated neutral, "Do you want to help me make pasta salad in the kitchen now? Or should we make lemonade?"
And by mid-week of this two here, two there, it was clear that Oggie was missing Ana's company more than she was missing his. They did talk on the phone twice but not quite a conversation per se.
Anyway, when Ana got back right on time for Easter, I was grateful that they enjoyed each other's company by sitting quietly side-by-side on the lush unkempt grass coloring the eggs using oil-pastel-resist.